ISEE Upper Level Verbal : Synonyms

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ISEE Upper Level Verbal

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #27 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

DEGRADING

Possible Answers:

Reducing

Removing

Demolishing

Demoting

Humiliating

Correct answer:

Humiliating

Explanation:

Do not be tempted to thinking “degrade” means the same thing as “downgrade.” Both words contain the “-grade” base, which means step or stage. Likewise, “de-” means down from. This might lead you to think that they both merely mean to force someone "down a step." Nevertheless, “degrading” actions are ones that are contemptuous or disrespectful. They are meant to humiliate those who receive them. For this reason, “humiliating” is the best answer among the others.

Example Question #28 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

CONCATENATION

Possible Answers:

Series

Agree

Feline

Parallel

Fawn

Correct answer:

Series

Explanation:

The word “concatenation” comes from the prefix “con-”, meaning “with” and a base that is derived from the Latin “catena,” meaning, “chain.” When one “concatenates” things together, he or she is said to “chain them together.” For this reason, a “concatenation” is a “series.” For instance, one can say that “abc” is a concatenation of the letters “a”, “b”, and “c.”

Example Question #29 : Using Prefixes, Suffixes, And Roots To Identify Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

CONGEAL

Possible Answers:

Rot

Harden

Thicken

Darken

Mold

Correct answer:

Thicken

Explanation:

The word “gel” and “gelatin” both are derived from a similar base as “congeal.” They all share the general sense of “freezing” or (more broadly) “hardening” from a liquid state. When something “congeals” it “gels together.” (The “con-” prefix means “with,” as you likely know.) In general it means to “to solidify” or “to coagulate” (like blood that thickens and clots). The word “congeal” can be used to describe a group coming together as well, as in, “The parts of the project congealed into a working whole.”

Example Question #71 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

PRESAGE

Possible Answers:

Embroil

Refute

Emerge

Emulate

Augur

Correct answer:

Augur

Explanation:

"Presage" and "augur" both mean to predict or have a feeling. "Embroil" means to involve in a dispute or complicate. "Emerge" means to come out or arise. "Emulate" means to copy the actions of"Refute" means to prove false or discredit.

Example Question #72 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

INDOLENT

Possible Answers:

Permissive

Reserved

Sheepish

Arrogant

Lazy

Correct answer:

Lazy

Explanation:

"Indolent" originally meant lacking or avoiding pain (IN-negating) + (DOLENT- from a Latin word for pain), but it came more commonly to refer to a desire to avoid any kind of exertion. Make sure you don't confuse it with "insolent" (rude and disrespectful) or "indulgent" (lenient and permissive).

Example Question #73 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

ENSNARE

Possible Answers:

Trap

Obstruct

Baffle

Fulfill

Germinate

Correct answer:

Trap

Explanation:

"Ensnare" means to capture or to trap. "Fulfill" means to satisfy or complete a task or goal. "Germinate" means to grow. "Obstruct" means to block or prevent something from getting through. "Baffle" means to confuse.

Example Question #34 : Synonyms: Prefixes

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

EDICT

Possible Answers:

Law

Statute

Discussion

Proclamation

Scroll

Correct answer:

Proclamation

Explanation:

The word “edict” comes from the prefix “e-” meaning “out or out of” and “-dict,” which means “to say or speak.” The latter is found in many words like “diction,” “dictate,” “dictionary,” and “benediction” (as well as many, many others). “Edict” thus literally means “something spoken out.” The sense of this “out” is that the thing is proclaimed, particularly by one in authority. For this reason, the option “proclamation” is the best option among those provided.

Example Question #74 : Synonyms

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

PRESCRIBE

Possible Answers:

Recommend

Prerelease

Forbid

Medicate

Copy

Correct answer:

Recommend

Explanation:

The word “prescribe” distantly comes from the Latin meaning “to write out ahead of time.” (The “scribe” portion of the word comes from the Latin for “to write.”) We often use the word in medical contexts, when a doctor recommends (and authorizes) the usage of a given medicine. It is so used because of its general meaning of “recommend.” Do not confuse this with “proscribe,” which means “to forbid” (generally by law).

Example Question #36 : Synonyms: Prefixes

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

INFUSE

Possible Answers:

Bewilder

Shoot

Introduce

Fill

Compel

Correct answer:

Fill

Explanation:

The word “infuse” is derived from the obvious prefix “in-”, which here means just that—“in”—and the base “-fuse,” which is derived from the Latin for “to pour.” Someone “infuses” one thing with another when the latter is added to the former. More strictly speaking, the word implies that one thing fills another, as when someone’s thought is said to be “infused with their pains and agonies.” Still, the word can also mean “to add or instill into.” The former is the meaning implied by the options provided in the answers, as “fill” is the only acceptable answer among them.

Example Question #37 : Synonyms: Prefixes

Select the answer choice that is closest in meaning to the word in capital letters.

EQUANIMITY

Possible Answers:

Ambiguity

Sentiment

Immorality

Composure

Assimilation

Correct answer:

Composure

Explanation:

The root "equ" in "equanimity" means equal, and "anima" is the Latin term for soul or spirit, so it makes sense that “equanimity” means evenness of temper, calm, or "composure." “Immorality” is wickedness, immoral actions, or depravity; “ambiguity” is uncertainty or vagueness of meaning; “assimilation” means the act of absorbing something new, like information or the act of taking on characteristics of a different culture in which one is living; and “sentiment” means feeling.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors